The Pleasures of Spring – House Hunting

The sun is shining, the days are stretching. Let’s celebrate by selling our home and buying a new one. Sheer madness, but it’s a ritual part of spring for many people. Spring is the time when you move house.

This year, I had to join them; selling the place we were living in and searching for another one more suitable for our daughters and their schools.

House Hunting

That’s where the torture began. To start with, we had to get our house ready for viewing. That meant hiring a skip to dispose of rubbish. We only moved in eighteen months ago, how could we have accumulated so much crap? After that, it was time for a mega clean up.

I made a couple of trips to IKEA, not to buy anything, but just to see how they arranged the various rooms so we could do the same with ours.

An hour before the first viewers arrived, I was still rushing around like a lunatic, washing dishes, shoving bondage ropes and riding crops under the bed, carefully arranging several copies of “The Pleasures of Winter” and the other Pleasures books around the house.

By the time it was ready, the house looked so good I couldn’t think a reason for selling it. This was perfect, we should stay here.

“You hate this house,” said my long-suffering husband. “Remember the Take-a-ticket queue for the bathroom every morning?”

Oh yes, sharing a single bathroom with a hair-conscious husband and three teenage daughters was the reason we were moving.

And while we were selling our house, we still had to look for a new one.

I’ve lost count of how many houses we’ve looked at in the last three months, but it’s amazing the number of different ways that people can arrange virtually the same space. I was impressed with one house that had a huge storage system in the hall by the front door. You walked in, and put away boots, bags, umbrellas and stuff as soon as you were out of the rain. The bedrooms were on the ground and first floor, so you could put away more stuff before getting to the open-plan living room on the top floor. I really liked that house, but it had only three bedrooms and we need four.

A development of new houses looked promising. The show house was beautifully laid out – until I realized there was no room for wet coats or school bags. My daughters each have a school bag, a PE bag, a Home-Ec bag and a science-lab bag. They all take up space when not at school.

The house in Donabate looked perfect, but it was too far away for the girls to get to their three different schools.

The city centre house was within walking distance of the main street and the train station. And five bedrooms! We could have guests. But it’s rented out to recovering drug addicts, so perhaps not, although it was spotlessly neat. One of the inmates told me proudly that he learned to clean like that in prison.

We put an offer on a house a mile away, four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a garden with room for drying clothes and all the bikes. The offer was accepted and we were getting ready to move in. Until the survey showed it had something else as well – marijuana grow house in the attic.

Oops, cue argument about whether the Criminal Assets Bureau or the bank has the biggest interest in that house.

And the search goes on…

 

Online Love

online_love“It’s over,” she confessed as we sipped our coffee.

After I sympathized and we relegated him to bastards who wouldn’t know a good thing if it hit them between the eyes, she cheered up a little. “And I was so looking forward to meeting him.”

I need to backtrack a little.

They’d been having a cyber relationship for months. Lots of virtual chat, sexting and flirting, but it all fell apart when they reached the first online love milestone – the exchange of photographs.

How can I put this gently? There was zero sparkage – zilch, nada, nothing. She wouldn’t have dated him if he was covered in hundred euro notes and he hated skinny women. All the virtual evenings they had spent together were gone in an instant, and they were both back on the cyber shelf or in the cyber saddle, eager for their next adventure.

And they’re not alone.

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The Pleasures Lessons #5: Kinky Boots

Schooldays – the desks, the smell of new books, doing exams while the sun was beating down and frumpy school uniforms. They were the best days of our lives – not!

We’ve decided to have a little fun this week and open our own ‘Pleasures School’. Eileen and I will be talking about what we discovered while researching the Pleasures books. There will be lessons, punishments (well, maybe) fun in the playground and absolutely no homework…

pleasureslessons

Lesson #5: Kinky Boots

Like a man we know is going to break our hearts, we have all yearned for unsuitable shoes.

You know the ones I’m talking about.  The leopard skin pumps that languish under the bed or those high wedges that you promised yourself you would learn to walk in but never did. They may pinch you, hurt you, even make you bleed, but you persevere with them because shoes are sexy.

What woman hasn’t fallen madly in love with a pair of heels?  You might resist them for a week. Try them on and walk away, but you’ll be back, you know you will, because there is something about shoes that is irresistible.

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The Pleasures Lessons #4: Fetish Clubs

Schooldays – the desks, the smell of new books, doing exams while the sun was beating down and frumpy school uniforms. They were the best days of our lives – not!

We’ve decided to have a little fun this week and open our own ‘Pleasures School’. Eileen and I will be talking about what we discovered while researching the Pleasures books. There will be lessons, punishments (well, maybe) fun in the playground and absolutely no homework…

pleasureslessons

Lesson #4: Fetish Clubs

While writing The Pleasures of Summer, we decided to set a scene in a fetish club.  Summer O’Sullivan was curious about the world of BDSM and determined to get some hands on experience – whether Flynn Grant approved or not. (Although she probably got a bit more than she anticipated by the end of the evening!)

We had spoken to a lot of kinksters about what goes on at events, but hearing secondhand reports of other people’s experiences wouldn’t give us the same perspective as a first timers visit to a club. And nothing beats doing your own research.

So we decided to go…

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The Pleasures Lessons #3: Battery Operated Boyfriends

Schooldays – the desks, the smell of new books, doing exams while the sun was beating down and frumpy school uniforms. They were the best days of our lives – not!

We’ve decided to have a little fun this week and open our own ‘Pleasures School’. Eileen and I will be talking about what we discovered while researching the Pleasures books. There will be lessons, punishments (well, maybe) fun in the playground and absolutely no homework…

robot

Lesson #3: Battery Operated Boyfriends

“Oh yes!” I hear you say.

Shame on you, Ladies. I’m talking about e-readers, not the other kind of BOB.

As a book addict, I never thought I’d make the transition from paper. I’d become a big fan of those grandfather clock-sized bookshelves that fit neatly behind doors. But as they say in Star Trek, resistance is futile.

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